resident bush: because the sheeple never learn.

Criminal Enterprise

[WSWS]  Reports on the mounting evidence of wholesale corruption in US reconstruction efforts in Iraq are symptomatic of the criminal nature of Washington’s war and occupation from their inception nearly six years ago. These crimes are continuing under the Obama administration, with no end in sight.

posted 17th February 2009

[MSNBC]  In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A. ’s program of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone.

The administration has also embraced the Bush legal team’s arguments that a lawsuit by former C.I.A. detainees should be shut down based on the “state secrets” doctrine. It has also left the door open to resuming military commission trials.

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It’s the homonyms what’ll gitcha if you don’t watch out. Barack Obama was the piece candidate, and, just like BushCo, he intends to get a big piece of the action[s]. He’s working for the right people, not we the people:

[Jewish Peace News]  Over the objections of church groups, peace organizations and human rights activists, Barack Obama decided to return to Illinois to visit the headquarters of the Caterpillar company, which for years has violated international law, U.S. law and its own code of conduct by selling its D9 and D10 bulldozers to Israel.

Obama praised Caterpillar, saying, “Your machines plow the farms that feed our families; build the towers that shape our skylines; lay the roads that connect our communities; power the trucks that deliver our goods.” He failed to mention that Caterpillar machines have been used to level Palestinian homes, uproot olive orchards, build the illegal separation wall and, in some cases, kill innocent civilians, including a 23-year old American peace activist.

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[Washington Times]  Barack Obama’s campaign theme should have been, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” The personality-driven media has juxtaposed Obama’s pledge to clean the nation’s Augean Stables of rich lobbyists and insiders who profited on special access to the corridors of power; and, his appointments or nominations of delinquent taxpayers to his Cabinet, and appointment of a mega-lobbyist for a defense contractor as deputy secretary of defense.

But Obama’s more alarming betrayal concerns the imperial powers of his office, which he inherited from the Bush-Cheney duumvirate. He has either embraced or acquiesced in every one of their usurpations or abuses.

If the American people and Congress do not wake up from their Obama infatuation, presidential powers will soon be indistinguishable from King George III’s that provoked the Declaration of Independence.

posted 16th February 2009

[PBS]  SIMON JOHNSON:  What he’s basically saying is business as usual. Go about your daily lives. Get the bonuses. Re-brand them as awards. But it really shows you the arrogance, and I think these people think that they’ve won. They think it’s over. They think that we’re going to pay out ten or 20 percent of GDP to basically make them whole. It’s astonishing.

BILL MOYERS:  Why wouldn’t they believe that? I mean, when I watched the eight CEOs testify before Congress at the House Financial Services Committee earlier this week, I had just finished reading a report that almost every member of that Committee had received contributions from those banks last year. I mean in a way that’s like paying the cop on the beat not to arrest you, right?

SIMON JOHNSON: I called up one of my friends on Capitol Hill after that testimony, and that session. I said, “What happened? This was your moment. Why did they pull their punches like that?” And my friend said, “They, the Committee members, know the bankers too well.”

BILL MOYERS: Last year, the securities and investment industry made $146 million in campaign contributions. Commercial banks, another $34 million. I mean, American taxpayers don’t have a flea’s chance on a dog like that, do they?

When Tim Geithner said that the American people have lost faith in some financial institutions and the government, did it occur to you that this was the same man who was president of the New York Fed through much of this debacle?

posted 15th February 2009

[CBS News]  Obama is not challenging whether a valid claim of “executive privilege” can keep Karl Rove from testifying in the matter of the U.S. Attorney firings during the Bush Administration. White House Counsel says Obama is “very sympathetic to those who want to find out what happened.” But at the same time, Obama is not disputing the claim of privilege. “He is also mindful as president of the United States not to do anything that would undermine or weaken the institution of the presidency.

Rove is under subpoena to testify to the House Judiciary Committee on February 23 about political motivations in the firings of U.S. Attorneys. Bush was continuing to assert “executive privilege” and directed that Rove not testify or provide documents about the U.S. Attorney firings – even after Bush left office.

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[a snippet from] Chris Floyd: Empire Burlesque

There is certainly a great deal of slack-jawed shock going around these days, especially in progressive circles, where pundits, commentators, analysts and kibitzers continually find themselves reeling from yet another “inexplicable” move by the Obama Administration to uphold the core principles of their predecessors: enriching the rich, extending the empire, and enhancing the authoritarian power of a thoroughly militarized state.

Obama will feast on his liberal cred as a “caring community organizer” for years to come. But whatever he may have been in those distant callow days of youth, he ran for president quite openly as a “hack carrying water for the predators of Wall Street,” as we noted here long ago.

As with the moves to cover up and continue the Bush-Cheney torture system, Obama’s multitrillion-dollar giveaway to the rich might be “shocking” in the moral sense; but none of it should come as any surprise.

posted 14th February 2009

[the New American]  A Gallup Poll released February 12 revealed that 62 percent of Americans want to criminally prosecute Bush administration officials who authorized torture in the so-called ‘war on terror.’  But even though President Obama has said numerous times that ‘nobody’s above the law,’ on February 10 he used the Bush administration’s ’state secrets’ gambit to quash a lawsuit attempting to penalize some of those involved in renditioning torture subjects. Because Obama invoked the ’state secrets’ policy at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the lawsuit’s likelihood of revealing felony torture on the part of Bush officials is now remote.

The Gallup Poll came just two weeks after it was revealed that the Obama administration’s Justice Department has dispatched several government lawyers to defend Bush-era Justice Department official John Yoo from a lawsuit by torture victim Jose Padilla. Obama’s actions are fast diverging from his public rhetoric.

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